St. Peter's Basilica

The center of the Catholic world, this magnificent basilica was built on the burial site of the apostle Peter.

St. Peter's Basilica: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

1. Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

Discover some of the most popular attractions in Rome on a guided walking tour of Vatican City. Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica with your guide, and admire the ornate interiors and the famed artworks housed here. Meet your guide close to the entrance to the Vatican Museums and follow them as you set out to explore the most interesting galleries within the museum. See the Rotunda, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the Gallery of Maps. Take in the ornate ceilings in each room and see the ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries that adorn the walls. Then, enter the Sistine Chapel and marvel at the intricate fresco that covers the entire ceiling and walls. Painted by Michaelangelo between 1508 and 1512, the Sistine Chapel represents a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. From the Creation of Adam to the Last Judgement, Michelangelo dedicated some of his greatest years to the Sistine Chapel, working day and night – even sleeping in the chapel – to satisfy the popes of Rome. The artist also expressed his frustration through hidden meanings in his work, which have since been uncovered and deciphered. Listen as your guide lets you in on Michelangelo's private jokes. Finally, head to St. Peter's Basilica for the final leg of your guided walking tour. The cathedral is one of the most renowned works of Renaissance architecture and holds the title of the biggest church in the world. Explore the interior of this magnificent structure with your guide and discover the many masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art that fill the cathedral. Admire the famous Pietà by Michelangelo and the elaborate St. Peter's Baldachin by Bernini. Your tour comes to an end outside the cathedral. From here, feel free to wander around Saint Peter's Square or visit the nearby Castel Sant'Angelo on your own. 

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with St. Peter's

2. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour with St. Peter's

Discover the art collection inside the Vatican Museums on a tour with an art historian guide, with an optional entry to Castle Gandolfo and skip-the-line access to St Peter's Basilica for visits before lunchtime. Walk through the galleries and admire masterpieces by Michelangelo inside the Sistine Chapel.  Meet your guide, an art historian who will tell you all about the masterpieces you will be encountering. Hear fascinating facts and stories as you visit the Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Round off the tour with by encountering the marvels of the Sistine Chapel, complete with frescoes by Michelangelo. Be awed by coming face-to-face with Michelangelo’s most famous artwork: The Last Judgement. On tours before 2:30 PM, take advantage of skip-the-line access to St. Peter's Basilica. You can also make the most of your experience by taking advantage of additional entry to Castle Gandolfo (if option selected).

St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

3. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

Admire the majesty of St. Peter's Basilica in the company of an art historian tour guide. Go up to the summit to take in spectacular panoramic views, and learn about the artistic and architectural significance of the basilica. Meet your art historian guide in St. Peter's Square and stroll across the piazza into Vatican City. In the basilica, take the elevator part of the way up and then climb the remaining 171 steps. You can climb at a leisurely pace and enjoy the journey up with frequent stops. At the summit, witness the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Vatican City as it extends out into Rome and its seven hills. Take as many photographs as you can because you are very high and will be able to see for a long distance. Return to ground level, and take a break before entering St. Peter's Basilica. Marvel at this triumph of architecture, where Bernini's sculptures and Michelangelo's art rise above holy papal tombs and the necropolis of St. Peter. 

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

4. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

Explore iconic sights in Rome on this guided walking tour. Stroll through St. Peter's square and take in the views of the city from the top of St. Peter's Basilica. Admire artwork like Michelangelo's emotive 'Pietà' statue and go below the Basilica to uncover St. Peter's final resting place. Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square then start the tour by climbing your way to the top of the Basilica’s dome. Enjoy an exclusive look at the Dome’s impressive mosaics then head further up to the top balcony. From here, marvel at panoramic views across the city, spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and other iconic landmarks. Descend into the Basilica and admire its impressive interior and discover why it took 150 years to build. Gaze at the colorful marble, golden ceilings, and intricate mosaics that surround you. Learn about the renowned works of Renaissance and Neoclassic artists that are housed here.  Next, head underground to the Basilica’s historic grottoes and visit St. Peter’s Tomb. Touch the ancient walls of the original 4th-century Basilica and admire its beautiful frescoes. Finish the tour in St. Peter’s Square and soak up its majestic architecture. 

Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

5. Rome: Guided Tour of St. Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb

Join a private or shared guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica and experience this iconic attraction. Start your tour by climbing the stairs to the top of the dome. Contemplate the interior mosaics of the dome up close while your guide shares stories about the history of this Renaissance-style church. Continue your climb to the very top of the dome and reach the viewing deck. Marvel at the striking views of St. Peter's Square and the Vatican Gardens from above. Admire Rome from a height of 136 meters, and spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo, and other historic sites. From here, descend directly into the Basilica, skipping the long lines outside. Marvel at the magnificent interior and learn why the church took 150 years to rebuild. Discover the colorful marbles, golden ceilings, and the impressive Michelangelo's Pietà.

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

6. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

Explore St. Peter's Basilica, the Renaissance-style church with its dome that dominates the skyline of Rome. Discover why the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson described it as "an ornament of the earth...the sublime of the beautiful". Marvel at the interior, lavishly decorated with marble, reliefs, architectural sculpture, and gilding. Discover the underground Chapel of the Confession and marvel at its curving marble staircases. After the tour, you can use the online Rome City Guide, a self-guided audio tour with stories from local experts, which is included in the experience. Learn about the city's points of interest, hidden gems, public transport, Wi-Fi access points, and best photo stops.

Saint Peter's Basilica Official Audioguide

7. Saint Peter's Basilica Official Audioguide

Explore St. Peter's Basilica, one of Rome's most famous and magnificent sites with an official audio guide. Marvel at the iconic masterpieces of the church while hearing about Roman history.  St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican is the primary temple of Christianity and is built in the Renaissance style, with a central dome dominating the skyline of Rome. As you enter the church, you will see that its interior is much bigger than those of any other cathedral. Using an official audio guide of the Basilica, you can start your visit at any point of the church, without having to follow the order dictated by the presence of a guide. The audio guide is available through an app on your phone, which you can download to your smartphone ahead of your visit. Or, if you prefer to use a traditional audio guide, you can request one by showing your booking voucher at the reception desk located in the atrium of the Basilica. You can decide, for example, to begin with, the heart of the Basilica, beneath the high altar and the Bernini's Baldachin, where you will discover the “Confession” or “Chapel of the Confession”, in reference to the confession of faith by St. Peter, which led to his martyrdom and burial place. You may choose to end with "La Pietà", the masterpiece of Michelangelo Buonarroti, or with the St. Peter's bronze statue (so worshipped by all the pilgrims visiting over the centuries).

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour

8. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour

Take a guided tour of the extensive papal collection of statues, artifacts, and paintings by some of the world’s most distinguished artists in the endless corridors of the Vatican Museums.  See work by historic cartographers in the Gallery of the Maps, admire the Gallery of the Candelabras and more. Enter the Sistine Chapel and admire Michelangelo’s acclaimed masterpiece. Afterward, explore St. Peter’s Basilica at your own pace without a guide. Discover highlights include Bernini's high altar and the stunning "La Pieta" by Michelangelo.

Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica: Tour

9. Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica: Tour

Skip the ticket lines to the main monuments of the Vatican City on this guided tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. Your local guide will take you to the most interesting galleries within the museums – the Rotunda, Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Maps. Each of these rooms contains ornate ceilings with the walls decorated with ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries. Of course, the greatest gem of the Vatican collection is not a painting on any wall, but an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by the greatest genius of the Renaissance period – Michelangelo Buonarotti. From the Creation of Adam to the Last Judgement, Michelangelo dedicated some of his greatest years to the Sistine Chapel, working day and night – even sleeping in the chapel – to satisfy the popes of Rome. He also expressed his frustration with his employers with hidden meanings in his work. Today these have been uncovered and understood. Listen as your guide lets you in on Michelangelo’s private jokes. Finish your tour at the Basilica of St. Peter, the world's most impressive work of Renaissance architecture and the largest cathedral in the world. Admire the famous Pietà by Michelangelo and the elaborate St. Peter's Baldachin by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Rome: City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Bus with Audioguide

10. Rome: City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off Bus with Audioguide

Explore the Eternal City from a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus with your 24, 48, or 72-hour ticket. Travel past the city's icons, leave the bus at any of the eight stops, and hop back on the next bus when you want to continue. Stay flexible while seeing all the amazing sights in Rome. Legend tells of Romulus and Remus and the 7 hills of Rome. Today the city is home to one of the world's largest churches, the Basilica di San Pietro of the Vatican, approached through a marvelous elliptical piazza. Among its other famous sights are the magnificent Colosseum, cinematic Trevi Fountain, and romantic Spanish Steps. With its vibrant café culture and quaint trattorias, Rome never fails to inspire. The full loop takes 100 minutes and you can jump off at any of the following points along the way: STOPS Stop 1: Terminal A Largo di Villa Peretti or Terminal B Largo di Villa Peretti Stop 2: Santa Maria Maggiore Stop 3: Colosseum Stop 4: Circo Massimo Stop 5: Piazza Venezia Stop 6: Vaticano  Stop 7: Fontana Di Trevi  Stop 8: Piazza Barberini

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Other Sightseeing Options in St. Peter's Basilica

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What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 108,340 reviews

Waking up early was definitely worth it. Meeting point easy to locate. Quick access & guided tour to Dom. Afterwards free time to explore the basilica and visit burial sites. Nice that they give head peaces to everyone therefore it was easy to orientate and stay with the group. Little lack of information regarding current Vatican traditions including Konklave or details about popes everyday life. A lot of historic facts which may not be interesting to everyone.

Fantastic early morning visit with Laura S, highly recommend. Not our first visit of the Vatican museum, but this tour was made special by the early morning access and professionalism of our guide and Livtours.

A must do while in Rome, but having a guide made it all even better. Both of our guides make the visit much more interesting and rich. Very knowledgeable and great story tellers

A magnificent place. So much to see having a guide is essential. Regardless of skip the queue access to the Basillica itself, you will queue to go up the Dome. Worth it though.

Maite was an excellent guide: intelligent, knowledgeable and likeable